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Throughout the nineties John Dean worked in partnership with the first vanilla project in India. Without John's determination and his committment to helping the people of India, vanilla would not be growing in India on the scale it is today. John had many years experience and insight into growing and curing vanilla.

In those early days, getting vanilla vines to flower and produce beans was a closely guarded secret. John travelled the world, visiting countries with expertise in growing and curing vanilla.


In 2001 we collaborated with a French chef to tune our curing processes to ensure the flavour profile of our Indian vanilla pods met the needs of the most critical of chefs.

Once we'd achieved the rich well-rounded vanilla flavour we were after, we worked to vacuum pack our vanilla. We pioneered the idea of vacuum packing vanilla. Our vacuum packed vanilla pods retain their flavour for 2 years

The pioneering work of that first vanilla project ed to India becoming a world class vanilla producer .... and we're proud to say our Indian vanilla pods from Gourmet Vanilla are now used in top restaurants throughout the UK and Ireland.

John in India

John on the plantation in the rain in the early days

Early vanilla vines - our first visit

One of our early visits to India

John & Maggy in India

In Chennai